Making Merry Before the Lord – II Samuel 6:21-22

“And I will make merry before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” David had recently been anointed king over all Israel and one of his first official acts was to move the ark of the covenant to his new capital city, Jerusalem, making Jerusalem both the political and religious capital of Israel. The ark was the visible sign of the holy presence of the Lord and the focal point of God’s actual presence among his people. God manifested his presence in a special way where the ark was. David accompanied the ark on its journey to Jerusalem. David and those with him were “making merry before the Lord, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals” (vs. 5). During the journey they rejoiced (vs. 12), danced (vs. 14), and shouted (vs. 15), while playing musical instruments (vs. 15) to celebrate the coming of the ark and the presence of God to the new capital city. David removed his royal robes and dressed like everyone else (the priests and Levites) in the procession. When David’s wife (Saul’s daughter) saw David leaping and dancing before the Lord sans his royal robes, she despised his actions and told David he was making a fool of himself in front of everyone, especially the young female servants. David told his wife that he was willing to make himself even more contemptible by making merry before the Lord and while she perceived his zeal for God as something despicable, the female servants would respect his passion for the Lord as something honorable. Let us take our cue from David and learn to make merry before the Lord in worship. Too often our worship is detached and methodical. We need the passion of David in our worship. Shouldn’t our worship reflect our zeal for God with rejoicing and shouting–and maybe even some occasional dancing? We need to be zealous for the Lord, sometimes to the point of contemptibility!

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